McKelvey, M. and Rake, B.: Product Innovation Success Based on Cancer Research in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Co-publication Networks and the Effects of Partners, Industry and Innovation, 23(5), 383-406


This paper builds upon the literature which provides conflicting theoretical insights and empirical results concerning the importance of companies’ collaborative relations, their position within a network of collaborative relations and the effects on their innovative performance. Taking the importance of collaborations and networks in the pharmaceutical industry into account, the paper untangles the influence of the firm’s co-publication relations with different types of partners and its network position on the company’s product innovation in a specific disease area—cancer. We find rather robust evidence that in particular, companies’ indirect connections within the co-publication network, including connections to academic institutions and biotechnology companies, support product innovation. In contrast to evidence in the strategic alliance literature, direct co-publication links to biotechnology companies do not support product innovation in terms of new cancer medications.